China announces participants for Olympic opening

China has announced that heads of state and other dignitaries from 25 countries will attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics on February 4.

China’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday that guests from the 25 countries would include Russian President Vladimir Putin and the presidents of five former Soviet republics in Central Asia.

The ministry said President Xi Jinping will hold a welcome banquet for foreign dignitaries. He added that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will also visit China.

Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters on Friday that representatives from many countries will participate in the Olympics.

The United States, Britain and other countries have announced that they will not send any government officials to the Beijing Olympics in what has been described as a diplomatic boycott, citing alleged human rights abuses. man in China.

The Japanese government has also announced that it does not plan to send Cabinet ministers to the Beijing Games.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a telephone conversation on Wednesday that Washington should “stop interfering” with the Beijing Games.